Whew – I just finished typing the last scene in Men of Tokyo: Sudden Heat. I think the whole novel is going to end up at 80k, which is over 300 pages in print. I’m quite happy with it. I really grew to love all the characters and felt for them in their struggles. That really made all the difference in the process of writing, as did the invaluable encouragement from my critique partner and from my beta-reader.
However, finishing a novel is always a mixed bag. There’s a sense of relief that it’s finished and can be turned into the publisher for the next stage of production. I always look forward to getting the cover and to release day. But there’s also a let down. For months, I’ve been with these characters, getting to know them, love them, struggling with the process of expressing their experience the best way possible. And then, suddenly, it’s finished. I feel weird, like I’m drifting around without anything anchoring me. I do my best to put my attention onto the other things I have to do, preparing meals, cleaning the house, and, of course, getting to work on the next book, which, in this case, is probably going to be Fantasy Thief. Can Sedonia get into Harlequin Blaze? We’ll see.